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Love Struck – Chapter Eighteen


  It was a cold morning, the sky had ejected upon the surface it’s angry tears and caused the grounders to feel extremely frigid.
My alarm screamed at me, that’s was my cue to depart for school. Oh how I felt like staying in bed all day, just sleeping throughout.
“John, wake up, school is calling 4us,” I stretched and tapped him.
   He rolled on the bed a couple times then eventually his eyelids resurrected.
“Okay, you go take your bath first.” he responded and thereafter wiped his eyes.
“Heh, so you can go back to dream land? I don’t think so.”
   I pulled him off the bed and dragged his ass to the bathroom then closed the door.
“Your birthday is tomorrow, huh? You’ll be bathed with water from the gutters, you’ll see! He yelled.

            *     *      *

   I was so joyous when Mr. Andrew left our class. His lecture bored me and I couldn’t sleep in his class. That’s stay detention which I was not half interested in.
    I noticed Paula heading towards me immediately Mr. Andrew deserted the classroom.
“Hey, Dan, Can I speak with you for a moment?”
“If it’s anything other than school stuff, I’m uninterested.”
“Dan, just hear me out,” she held me by my hand.
I looked at her a moment, suddenly a flashback of the shooting. I quickly took her hand off mine. I felt a quick shiver, I grabbed my backpack and exited the classroom.
I met John halfway home, he and Vickie were holding hands. I thought about stopping to chit chat with them as we walked but I changed my mind and hollered at them as I passed by. Surely John would notice I had a motive for doing that.
Eventually John got home even though it was awfully late.
“Yo! Why’d you take so long to arrive?”
“Heh, There was traffic jam along the way.” he giggled.
“Since that time huh?”
“Okay, we stopped by her room and had some intimacy. Hell, Paula and I had a discussion about you.”
“I see,” I responded caressing my chin.
He moved closer to me and held me by my shoulder.
“Daniel, give this babe a second chance. It’s not to late, more so, it’s unwise for you to let her go. Please reconsider.”
“It’s just that I no longer feel comfortable with her, I keep reminiscing the shooting. It scares me a lot.” I replied warmly.
“We need to work on that then. More so, tomorrow is your birthday brother. We gonna have fun,” John yelled out.
“No surprises please,” I stated out.
My phone rang, I held it only to realize it was Paula.
“Pick up bro, don’t f**k up oh,” John suggested.
I braced myself and picked up the phone. My breath seizes, I was speechless until she uttered a word.
Our conversation went smoothly, I wouldn’t say we’d reconciled but we’re back on track a little.

*       *         *

At exactly 12 o’clock I received a call from Paula, wishing me a happy birthday and long life and prosperity.
I felt moved by her statement, when the call was about to end she uttered “I Love You”, there was a momentary silence afterwards I hung up.
I know I ought to have told her, I know I ought to have responded with the same words but I felt unsure about it. I mean She broke my heart, I know you’d be thinking that I’m taking the matter long, that I ought to have forgiven her right?
   But I just couldn’t, I wanted to be truly sure she meant it. That’s much better right?
  The most awful thing was that John poured water on me whilst I slept. He said it’s a birthday tradition from his secondary school.

  I didn’t see Paula at class and some class mates were missing likewise. I found it strange and weird.
I arrived at home but John wasn’t around likewise. Then my phone rang, it was John.
“Yo! I’m a hotel outside the school; that hotel around the corner off school street.” he said hastily.
“Doing what actually?”
“I’m hiding in a closet, Timothy is out looking for me.. He found me here.”
“What! I’m on my way,” I hung up and rushed down there.

   *     *     *

On arrival, the hotel was Opened and a couple  cars were packed outside.
I was led to the waiting room by an attendant, I asked about John, if he was logged in here. But they told me there wasn’t any John Lodged in.
As I decided to dial John’s number, I felt a hand behind, it was a strange lady.
“Excuse me sir, I was told to bring you the bar.”
“Sorry, for what exactly?” I inquired.
“If you will just follow me.”
I followed her to the bar, it was dark, the lights were off.
Suddenly the lights went on and someone yelled “Happy Birthday”.
 I recognized that tone it was John.
I quickly put the pieces together and figured, he threw me a surprise birthday party.
How shocked I was at the multitude standing before me. ‘No wonder some classmates were missing’ I thought.
A strange hand covered my eyes from behind. I recognized that touch, it was Paula’s.
“Happy Birthday, Daniel. I Love You,” Paula uttered.
There she went again, exact words I was trying to escape. Everyone stared at me, probably hoping I’d say it back.
And then,…….

About Praise

Praise Osawaru is a writer, poet, content developer and entrepreneur-in-training. His works have appeared in Black Youth, Nantygreens, Sprinng Literary Movement and Writers Space Africa. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 and Shortlisted for The Zi Prize 2019. Follow him on Instagram/FB/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise

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